There Are Jews on the Left

Many of the individuals criticised here and many members of the organisations criticised here are ... Jewish. So Big Flame attempts to answer criticisms of its anti-semitism by asserting that its editorial board "comprises both Jews and non-Jews" (December 1982). However, this is tokenistic and naive if it is meant to 'prove' that Big Flame is not capable of anti-semitism. Obviously Jews, like everyone else, can internalise their own oppression. This, at one extreme, is what constitutes unconscious anti-semitism. At the other extreme, it is what constitutes the near-conscious self-hatred of Marx. None of this is to blame individual Jews in Big Flame. None of us could possibly claim to have a monopoly of wisdom in such hard circumstances and there are many routes to liberation. However, it is necessary to emphasise the very real existence of anti-semitism so that all of us as Jews have, at some level of consciousness, accepted certain anti-semitic attitudes as 'natural' and based on 'commonsense'.

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© 1984 Steve Cohen, edited and produced by Libby Lawson and Erica Bunnan.
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